C. P. Cavafy

In fear and suspicion
with worried mind and wounded eyes
we cower and plan how we can possibly
escape the inevitable
danger that horribly threatens us.
But we get it wrong, our path omits the danger;
the messages were false
(or we didn’t hear them, or we didn’t understand them well).
Another catastrophe, one we never imagined,
sudden, swiftly falls upon us
and – no more time! – captures us unaware.

[Written 1910; Published 1911]

Original Greek Poem